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Wednesday 19th December 2012 | 09:08
Conservative MEPs press release
The European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee adopted a key report on the main directive on public procurement, paving the way for a final agreement with European Union Council by next April.
Committee chairman Malcolm Harbour, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, stressed that modernising and simplifying the directive was the key to making procurement rules work better for the public sector, for businesses and for citizens.
He said: "Public Procurement accounts for 19 per cent of EU GDP and the revision of this directive is one of the most important objectives of the Single Market Act. We are counting on the new instrument to deliver a significant boost to growth and jobs in the single market. We aim to achieve a framework law which will allow procurers to move away from a lowest price culture towards promoting best practice and best value while driving innovation.
Although we are concerned about some of the proposals supported by the Committee's majority today, namely requirements on the subcontracting chain, social considerations, and some excessively protectionist measures, we did agree on a significant overall simplification of the EU rules, which will be most welcome for procurers and bidders alike."
The Committee supported greater flexibility for negotiations between buyers and suppliers. It also backed key Conservative proposals to set up innovation partnerships between public bodies and potential contractors, as well as proposals to take up electronic procurement including the use of 3D modelling software for major building and infrastructure projects.
Said Mr Harbour: "These benefits will make the EU public procurement framework fit for 21st century budgets and needs. Procurers will have much more room for manoeuvre and will be able to act more decisively, more innovatively and to design and roll out better public services in closer partnership with innovative SMEs."